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UT Martin Students Recieve National AFA Recognition

MARTIN, Tenn. – The Agriculture Future of America Organization has released selections for some of its most exclusive recognitions, and four students from the University of Tennessee at Martin are among those chosen.

Victoria Holliday (Photo/University Relations)

Victoria Holliday, a junior agriculture engineering technology major from Lexington, Kentucky, has been chosen to attend the 2023 AFA Food Institute held in Chicago on May 21-23. The AFA Food Institute is geared to help students interested in food sustainability, research and development, diabetics and nutrition, and marketing and sales with industry exposure and a better knowledge of farm-to-table.

To apply for the AFA Food Institute, students must be undergraduates with a GPA of 2.5 or higher and have a passion for and plan to pursue a career in food, agriculture or natural resources. After looking at what the institute offered, Holliday says that applying was a no-brainer.

“AFA and I both understand the importance of agriculture in the sustainment of the world,” said Holliday. “Applying for the AFA Food Institute was an easy decision because of my pursuit of becoming a food scientist.”

Sarah Tyler (Photo/University Relations)

Sarah Tyler, a sophomore agriculture business student from McEwen, was selected to serve as a part of the 2023-2024 Agriculture Future of America Campus Ambassador team after being nominated by Dr. Ross Pruitt, UT Martin professor of agriculture, geoscience and natural resources. Thirty-two ambassadors are chosen from across the country to increase awareness of AFA programs at their specific universities.

As a member of the ambassador team, Tyler will have the opportunity to have exclusive exposure to AFA partners and industry leaders through virtual and in-person meetings and events. Additionally, she will receive an academic scholarship, registration and travel expenses paid to the 2023 AFA Leaders Conference and a LinkedIn badge.

“Because of my positive experiences with the AFA Leaders Conference, I knew I wanted to advocate for this wonderful organization to my college peers and make them aware of the opportunities available,” said Tyler. “I strive to set goals that will increase the awareness of AFA programs, such as the six institutes throughout the year and the annual leaders conference.”

Libby Rushton (Photo/University Relations)
Bree Mills (Photo/University Relations)

Libby Rushton, a junior agricultural business major from Waverly, and Bree Mills, a sophomore agriculture education major from Decaturville, were selected to attend the AFA Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., Sept. 10-12. The goal of this policy institute is for students to understand the perspectives of top policy experts and government officials on today’s most pressing agriculture, food and natural resource policy issues.

“AFA has created a diverse space for me and my peers to further our knowledge of agriculture,” said Mills. “I hope the policy institute will help me learn more about what agriculture policy is in our country and how it works on the national level.”

Students will have the opportunity to visit with representatives and agriculture policy leaders, discuss innovations and recent challenges within the industry, and learn about career paths and opportunities in agriculture policy. Forty-four students from across the nation were chosen for this experience.

For more information about AFA, visit



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